Google Pay Singapore launched the new Menu Discovery feature today (April 28) to help local F&B companies who are having trouble eating.
When the "circuit breaker" turned on, many F&B businesses had to discontinue their dine-in services and rely on basic methods to share their menus and publicize their pickup or delivery options.
With Google Maps, users can now use this new feature to find food options available in the Google Pay app.
New function Lets Users find grocers
Photo credit: Google
With the new "Menu recognition" function in the Google Pay app, groceries can be easily recognized on the platform.
Grocers can upload their full online menus for free, and customers can easily discover them on the platform.
In order for users to discover and place orders in new restaurants in their area, all they have to do is go to the "Browse" function and tap the "Order Groceries" button to view the dealers based on their location.
Almost 150 merchants are currently on the platform, said Su Mei Teh, APAC's director of product operations for payments at Google.
Some of these retailers include Burger King, Canadian Pizza, Cedele, Da Paolo Group, The Daily Cut, Tuk Tuk Cha, Kok Sen, O Banh Mi, Outram Park and Hua Rou Gu Cha, Blue Ginger, O.BBa BBQ Jjajang and NUDE Seafood .
The creation of this free function, which took 2.5 weeks to create, is still in the beta phase, so not all retailers are fully integrated into the app.
Google Pay says it works with five agent partners – Aigens, FoodZaps, Novitee, TabSquare and Waitrr – to integrate more food businesses on board and fully integrate them into the Google Pay platform.
For fully integrated retailers, users can order and pay for their orders within the app.
A quick search in the app revealed that major brands such as Burger King, Cedele, Canadian Pizza and Eighteen Chefs allow users to place and pay for the order within the app. Depending on the restaurant, you can then collect or have the orders delivered yourself.
When retailers are not fully integrated, users can choose to order by phone or send the order via WhatsApp.
If retailers are not fully integrated, users can only browse the menu and select items in the app. You would then either have to call the dealer or send a message to confirm the order before going to the booth to pick up and pay for your order.
An example of an order message generated by the app to the retailer.
Google is also working with Chope to enable this menu recognition option for food businesses connected to Chope.
Google Pay took 2.5 weeks to create this feature
The conceptualization of this idea came after Su Mei and her team had problems ordering from menus sent via WhatsApp – they had to switch between the menu images and WhatsApp chats.
At this stage of the circuit breaker, many F&B dealers try to reach customers through word of mouth and other informal means to further increase sales.
With this trend in mind, the team used Google Pay's already established grocery ordering platform to help these merchants make a smarter discovery and offer customers a more convenient way to order.
Fast food and door-to-door deliveries are now a necessity as Singaporeans stay at home during this critical time. Like some others in Singapore, we shared menus with family and friends.
So we thought what if we could scale this up and make it easier for consumers and restaurants? We brought our employees together to get together quickly and discussed ways we can offer a solution.
– Patrick Teo, Director of Engineering for Payments and Engineering Site Lead at Google Singapore
They have used the help of over 100 members of the Google Singapore community (called "Googler") to nominate their favorite F&B facilities and include their online menus.
After compiling this list, the team encoded it into the Google Pay app – all within 2.5 weeks.
"We hope to make the process of discovering local restaurants simple and straightforward, to support even the smallest companies – such as street vendors – and to keep disruption to their business as low as possible," said Teo.
"We have been in a hurry to get this out and will continue to improve the experience and hope that easy access to a variety of food options will help Singaporeans enjoy their meals safely at home and support small businesses in these difficult times."
For local F&B companies that are not in the Google Pay app but are interested in having their menu included in the app, they can fill out their details and submit the form here.
Selected image source: Tokyo Cheapo / Google